Alternative John Muir Way - 19th April 2009

Report by Keith Burns

“ - - around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness, though most of the land lay in smooth cultivation. With red-blooded playmates, wild as myself, I loved to - - watch the waves in awful storms thundering on the black headlands and craggy ruins - - ”

John Muir, My Boyhood and Youth, 1913

Thirteen assorted runners, cyclists and multi-taskers and hobbling injured enjoyed a perfect 53km Spring circuit with brilliant sunshine and a refreshing zephyr off the sea. This was the Alternative John Muir Way, which attempts to do justice to the great man’s memory, rather than insult him with the official travesty John Muir Way (also, amazingly, The North Sea Trail) which substitutes Gullane High Street for the Gullane dunes, beaches and sea buckthorn; and delivers you across a tedious intensively farmed landscape from North Berwick to East Linton instead of challenging you with 300 million years of geology, flora and fauna along the coast line from North Berwick to Ravensheugh. After the coastal sceneryfest we returned inland via the Binning Woods, River Tyne, Barnes Castle and the Garleton and Hopetoun Hills.

The day’s trophies for tenacity went to Nigel and Andrew, who covered the full distance on foot. Kim, Eric and Bill worked an all-biking route that kept as close to the runners’ line as reasonably practicable. The multi-taskers made it to Ravensheugh on foot, then the return leg at higher speed by bike (well, some of the time). Altogether a more appropriate tribute to the great man.

The team: Kim, Juliette, Fiona, John BF, Nigel, John L, Bill, Eric, Andrew, Gio, Willy M, Mike, Keith (parts + van driver)

Many thanks for invaluable support to Barbel (lunch), Tom H (van), Shane and Fiona (baking), Carnethy committee (funding support).


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